And no, I don’t mean his Connecticut mansion, which is up for sale anyway.
According to the Wall Street Journal, court-appointed bankruptcy trustee Richard Davis has issued a 300-page report on Buddy Fletcher’s hedge fund, Fletcher Asset Management, alleging that Fletcher created “’wildly inflated valuations’ for his investments to generate more than $30 million in fraudulent fees and attract new investors to his network of funds.”
Davis concluded that Fletcher’s funds were largely insolvent since 2008 and that his business was essentially a Ponzi scheme, dependent on an inflow of new money to pay previous obligations.
This is a far more thorough version of what I found when I reported on Fletcher for Boston magazine about 18 months ago, so all this isn’t surprising. But it does leave me with a couple of questions.
If Fletcher’s funds have been defunct for five years now, why try to buy another apartment in the Dakota, when he must have known that his financial records would be reviewed? And why make matters worse by filing a lawsuit charging racial discrimination? (Davis’ report found that Fletcher siphoned about $1 million to pay the expenses of that lawsuit.)
My only answer: The man has become delusional—convinced, perhaps, that at some point he would make the money back. Or possibly that race was an impermeable shield against accusations of impropriety (hence the Dakota lawsuit).
Here’s the second question: At what point is Harvard forced to rename the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. professorship, currently held by Skip Gates?
It’s not just that the man is a scoundrel and Skip Gates now holds a professorship named by and for a crook. It’s that you have to wonder if the money used to pay for that professorship wasn’t also stolen.